A Cat of Tindalos

A Cat of Tindalos

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Only problem is that you don't know what the heck Monster of the Week is?

Heard about the Monster-of-the-Week fan collection of mysteries and want to join in the upcoming collection as an aspiring RPG module writer?

Only problem is that you don't know what the heck Monster of the Week is?

Monster of the Week or "MotW" is a monster hunting PbtA RPG based on television shows like Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This product is also going to introduce rules to make it easier to run "X-files or Fringe adventures"; something that a lot of MotW players already do.

A typical mystery involves investigating a strange situation, discovering a monster and its weakness and then the dangerous climax of killing it.

The MotW Rulebook and quite a few free "goodies" can be found at:
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/143518/Monster-of-the-Week

The Rulebook has sample mysteries on pages 149 - 161 (Dream Away the Time) and another on pages 273 - 285 (Damn Dirty Apes).

Here's another example:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7cav44145d9dTM3NUYteDBPVTQ/view?usp=sharing

Also check out the MotW Roadhouse, it is the MotW version of the Dungeon Tavern:https://plus.google.com/communities/110209328442902551212/stream/56aba946-716a-47ba-8ff3-97d9abcf7b9e

Look up the "Mysteries" section. A lot of adaptions and my starters, but some "full mysteries" as well. FYI my starters are almost full mysteries and some may be expanded for the collection, depending on the number of publishable submissions.

We’re interested in short ,creative mysteries that have a cool concept and are easily adaptable to the users’ individual games.

We would also be interested in (in order of desirability) play advice, art, custom moves and other rules variants, and new hunter classes.

It will be a profit share gig, so each piece contributed will earn you a share of ongoing sales.

If you have ideas for other material, please write up one short sample mystery or other material (up to 500 words) and email it to michael.sands@genericgames.co.nz by the 18th of December 2016.



Monday, November 21, 2016

A not-so-secret cabal are going to put together a collection of Monster of the Week mysteries, and we need writers!

Hey guys, Monster of the Week is a cool PbtA game of monster hunting that is easy to learn and fun to play. Michael Sands is launching a product to collect good fan written MotW modules called "mysteries" to a PDF product and share the proceeds with the writers. If you would like to get your feet wet as a RPG game writer this is a fairly forgiving place to start.

If this works it may be possible to apply this model to Dungeon World products as well. I would love to do another collection of Dungeon Starters with my Tavern friends and I already have a mini-project with Chris Stone-Bush that could roll over into something like this. Anyway, I will be part of this project and would invite Tavernites to learn about this system and submit. MotW Mysteries are generally only a few pages and I even developed a DW style "Mystery Starter" for Monster of the Week but we want the full fledged MotW mystery for this project. 

I'll let Michael speak-

Here's Michael-

We want your mysteries! A not-so-secret cabal are going to put together a collection of Monster of the Week mysteries, and we need writers!

It will be a profit share gig, so each piece contributed will earn you a share of ongoing sales.

We’re interested in short (less than 1000 words), creative mysteries that have a cool concept and are easily adaptable to the users’ individual games.

I’ll be including my expanded weirdness rules for games that are more Fringe and X-Files than Supernatural and Buffy, as well, so mysteries that use those would also be appreciated. Get the draft athttp://www.genericgames.co.nz/files/MotW_more_weirdness.pdf if you haven’t seen them.

We would also be interested in (in order of desirability) play advice, art, custom moves and other rules variants, and new hunter classes.

If you have ideas for other material, please write up one short sample mystery or other material (up to 500 words) and email it to me at michael.sands@genericgames.co.nz by the 18th of December 2016.



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Crichton speaks

“This is the gift of your species and this is the danger, because you do not choose to control your imaginings. You imagine wonderful things and you imagine terrible things, and you take no responsibility for the choice. You say you have inside you both the power of good and the power of evil, the angel and the devil, but in truth you have just one thing inside you - the ability to imagine.”

― Michael CrichtonSphere


Future Kitten of Tindalos

More pictures (if less cute) of my soon to arrive future feline friend...any ideas on names?


I have decided to adopt a Bengal kitten (Many thanks to 20 Dungeon Starters buyers for allowing me to afford her)





Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New Dungeon Starter: Altar to an Unknown Demon

You have my niece Bridget to blame for this one and her fan love of the wonderful Netflix series Stranger Things (which I share). I have always wanted to do a Dungeon Starter based on the tremendous first edition D&D PHB cover and that has somehow gotten mixed up with Bridget's desire to slay the Demon Prince.
Enjoy!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7cav44145d9SXhMQkd3Zk9SUDA/view?usp=sharing




Friday, November 11, 2016

The lesson for 2016


Happy Veteran's Day!

As a history buff I find the record of shame with how we treated our veterans only matched with wars we fought for terrible or misguided reasons. Let's hope for better in in the future, but I doubt it.
Still, no nation would exist without humans willing to fight and die for it. 
Thank you, veterans.



Thursday, November 10, 2016

listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go

I feel the need to post a notice to my readers. This is my blog and it expresses my thoughts and feelings.
So no apologies for the anti-Trump craziness, that is from an honest place and place of real despair. I have lost my father this year, a beloved cat has disappeared. I am caring for my mother who is dying very , very slowly to be honest. I started writing my "Dungeon Starters" while my father was having chemo treatments in the hospital before he died. So I'm pretty prone to despair anyway and this whole "Dungeon World" business has been about my sharing my geekish glee about the hobby and maybe reconnecting a bit with the happier elements of my childhood. It is many things but it is oddly enough my little candle in the darkness against despair sometimes. I have others: two wonderful friends who have stuck with me since high school and my sister and her family. I am so much more fortunate than many others but I confess to be prone to black moods and unforgivable self-pity.

I have always been a political junkie and I have never intended to hide who I was or the things I believed in or whether I liked the last Star Trek film (Awesome!). People are free to disagree. However, this site is basically about Dungeon World and will be in the future. I find myself needing to open that door and play there more and more as the world seems darker to me. Anybody who wants to play to is invited. As e.e. cummings said...

 'pity this busy monster, manunkind'


pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
                          A world of made
is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

E. E. Cummings





LOTR Hope



I know ome anti-Trumpers like myself have found this a source of solace. I wish I did, I feel sort of like Smaug has just eaten Bilbo and Fedexed the Ring to Mordor.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trump Despair

There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. And there were many other people who might not share those anti-democratic values, but who nonetheless were willing to vote for anyone bearing the Republican label.
I don’t know how we go forward from here. Is America a failed state and society? It looks truly possible. I guess we have to pick ourselves up and try to find a way forward, but this has been a night of terrible revelations, and I don’t think it’s self-indulgent to feel quite a lot of despair.
-Paul Krugman

Cowards

The Huffington Post’s editor's note calling Donald Trump as a “racist” and “xenophobe” is no more, a source in the newsroom tells POLITICO.
For months, every story on the Huffington Post about Trump came with the following note at the bottom of the article.
"Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S."

Moore was right

Michael Moore posted this on his blog ages ago...
Friends:
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you straight last summer when I told you that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president. And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.”
Never in my life have I wanted to be proven wrong more than I do right now.
I can see what you’re doing right now. You’re shaking your head wildly – “No, Mike, this won’t happen!” Unfortunately, you are living in a bubble that comes with an adjoining echo chamber where you and your friends are convinced the American people are not going to elect an idiot for president. You alternate between being appalled at him and laughing at him because of his latest crazy comment or his embarrassingly narcissistic stance on everything because everything is about him. And then you listen to Hillary and you behold our very first female president, someone the world respects, someone who is whip-smart and cares about kids, who will continue the Obama legacy because that is what the American people clearly want! Yes! Four more years of this!
You need to exit that bubble right now. You need to stop living in denial and face the truth which you know deep down is very, very real. Trying to soothe yourself with the facts – “77% of the electorate are women, people of color, young adults under 35 and Trump cant win a majority of any of them!” – or logic – “people aren’t going to vote for a buffoon or against their own best interests!” – is your brain’s way of trying to protect you from trauma. Like when you hear a loud noise on the street and you think, “oh, a tire just blew out,” or, “wow, who’s playing with firecrackers?” because you don’t want to think you just heard someone being shot with a gun. It’s the same reason why all the initial news and eyewitness reports on 9/11 said “a small plane accidentally flew into the World Trade Center.” We want to – we need to – hope for the best because, frankly, life is already a shit show and it’s hard enough struggling to get by from paycheck to paycheck. We can’t handle much more bad news. So our mental state goes to default when something scary is actually, truly happening. The first people plowed down by the truck in Nice spent their final moments on earth waving at the driver whom they thought had simply lost control of his truck, trying to tell him that he jumped the curb: “Watch out!,” they shouted. “There are people on the sidewalk!”
Well, folks, this isn’t an accident. It is happening. And if you believe Hillary Clinton is going to beat Trump with facts and smarts and logic, then you obviously missed the past year of 56 primaries and caucuses where 16 Republican candidates tried that and every kitchen sink they could throw at Trump and nothing could stop his juggernaut. As of today, as things stand now, I believe this is going to happen – and in order to deal with it, I need you first to acknowledge it, and then maybe, just maybe, we can find a way out of the mess we’re in.
Don’t get me wrong. I have great hope for the country I live in. Things are better. The left has won the cultural wars. Gays and lesbians can get married. A majority of Americans now take the liberal position on just about every polling question posed to them: Equal pay for women – check. Abortion should be legal – check. Stronger environmental laws – check. More gun control – check. Legalize marijuana – check. A huge shift has taken place – just ask the socialist who won 22 states this year. And there is no doubt in my mind that if people could vote from their couch at home on their X-box or PlayStation, Hillary would win in a landslide.
But that is not how it works in America. People have to leave the house and get in line to vote. And if they live in poor, Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, they not only have a longer line to wait in, everything is being done to literally stop them from casting a ballot. So in most elections it’s hard to get even 50% to turn out to vote. And therein lies the problem for November – who is going to have the most motivated, most inspired voters show up to vote? You know the answer to this question. Who’s the candidate with the most rabid supporters? Whose crazed fans are going to be up at 5 AM on Election Day, kicking ass all day long, all the way until the last polling place has closed, making sure every Tom, Dick and Harry (and Bob and Joe and Billy Bob and Billy Joe and Billy Bob Joe) has cast his ballot?  That’s right. That’s the high level of danger we’re in. And don’t fool yourself — no amount of compelling Hillary TV ads, or outfacting him in the debates or Libertarians siphoning votes away from Trump is going to stop his mojo.
Here are the 5 reasons Trump is going to win:
  1. Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit.  I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states. When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next-door, John Kasich.
    From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room. What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. Elmer Gantry shows up looking like Boris Johnson and just says whatever shit he can make up to convince the masses that this is their chance! To stick to ALL of them, all who wrecked their American Dream! And now The Outsider, Donald Trump, has arrived to clean house! You don’t have to agree with him! You don’t even have to like him! He is your personal Molotov cocktail to throw right into the center of the bastards who did this to you! SEND A MESSAGE! TRUMP IS YOUR MESSENGER!
    And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four rust belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November.
  2. The Last Stand of the Angry White Man. Our male-dominated, 240-year run of the USA is coming to an end. A woman is about to take over! How did this happen?! On our watch! There were warning signs, but we ignored them. Nixon, the gender traitor, imposing Title IX on us, the rule that said girls in school should get an equal chance at playing sports. Then they let them fly commercial jets. Before we knew it, BeyoncĂ© stormed on the field at this year’s Super Bowl (our game!) with an army of Black Women, fists raised, declaring that our domination was hereby terminated! Oh, the humanity!
    That’s a small peek into the mind of the Endangered White Male. There is a sense that the power has slipped out of their hands, that their way of doing things is no longer how things are done. This monster, the “Feminazi,”the thing that as Trump says, “bleeds through her eyes or wherever she bleeds,” has conquered us — and now, after having had to endure eight years of a black man telling us what to do, we’re supposed to just sit back and take eight years of a woman bossing us around? After that it’ll be eight years of the gays in the White House! Then the transgenders! You can see where this is going. By then animals will have been granted human rights and a fuckin’ hamster is going to be running the country. This has to stop!
  3. The Hillary Problem. Can we speak honestly, just among ourselves? And before we do, let me state, I actually like Hillary – a lot – and I think she has been given a bad rap she doesn’t deserve. But her vote for the Iraq War made me promise her that I would never vote for her again. To date, I haven’t broken that promise. For the sake of preventing a proto-fascist from becoming our commander-in-chief, I’m breaking that promise. I sadly believe Clinton will find a way to get us in some kind of military action. She’s a hawk, to the right of Obama. But Trump’s psycho finger will be on The Button, and that is that. Done and done.
    Let’s face it: Our biggest problem here isn’t Trump – it’s Hillary. She is hugely unpopular — nearly 70% of all voters think she is untrustworthy and dishonest. She represents the old way of politics, not really believing in anything other than what can get you elected. That’s why she fights against gays getting married one moment, and the next she’s officiating a gay marriage. Young women are among her biggest detractors, which has to hurt considering it’s the sacrifices and the battles that Hillary and other women of her generation endured so that this younger generation would never have to be told by the Barbara Bushes of the world that they should just shut up and go bake some cookies. But the kids don’t like her, and not a day goes by that a millennial doesn’t tell me they aren’t voting for her. No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat.
  4. The Depressed Sanders Vote. Stop fretting about Bernie’s supporters not voting for Clinton – we’re voting for Clinton! The polls already show that more Sanders voters will vote for Hillary this year than the number of Hillary primary voters in ’08 who then voted for Obama. This is not the problem. The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election. She never talks in an excited voice when asked why she’s voting for Hillary. A depressed voter. Because, when you’re young, you have zero tolerance for phonies and BS. Returning to the Clinton/Bush era for them is like suddenly having to pay for music, or using MySpace or carrying around one of those big-ass portable phones. They’re not going to vote for Trump; some will vote third party, but many will just stay home. Hillary Clinton is going to have to do something to give them a reason to support her  — and picking a moderate, bland-o, middle of the road old white guy as her running mate is not the kind of edgy move that tells millenials that their vote is important to Hillary. Having two women on the ticket – that was an exciting idea. But then Hillary got scared and has decided to play it safe. This is just one example of how she is killing the youth vote.
  5. The Jesse Ventura Effect. Finally, do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit. You can take as long as you need in there and no one can make you do anything. You can push the button and vote a straight party line, or you can write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are no rules. And because of that, and the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for Trump notbecause they agree with him, not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can. Just because it will upset the apple cart and make mommy and daddy mad. And in the same way like when you’re standing on the edge of Niagara Falls and your mind wonders for a moment what would that feel like to go over that thing, a lot of people are going to love being in the position of puppetmaster and plunking down for Trump just to see what that might look like. Remember back in the ‘90s when the people of Minnesota elected a professional wrestler as their governor? They didn’t do this because they’re stupid or thought that Jesse Ventura was some sort of statesman or political intellectual. They did so just because they could. Minnesota is one of the smartest states in the country. It is also filled with people who have a dark sense of humor — and voting for Ventura was their version of a good practical joke on a sick political system. This is going to happen again with Trump.
Coming back to the hotel after appearing on Bill Maher’s Republican Convention special this week on HBO, a man stopped me. “Mike,” he said, “we have to vote for Trump. We HAVE to shake things up.” That was it. That was enough for him. To “shake things up.” President Trump would indeed do just that, and a good chunk of the electorate would like to sit in the bleachers and watch that reality show.

I fear the bill for this show when it come due. -MT






Jesus Wept